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commodoredave

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Everything posted by commodoredave

  1. I think what they mean by restricting river cruises is capping capacity so that only the two of us can sail!
  2. Good point. I recently took a river cruise from Amsterdam and it certainly was a great place to begin or end that type of cruise. However, we did not dock at the main cruise terminal and instead the boat was moored at a tiny dock that was across a bridge and about 10 blocks away from the main terminal. Are you sure that river ships will be part of the ban that will close the main cruise terminal?
  3. This topic is getting lots of attention in the Ports (Europe, Amsterdam) board. Here is what I said there: The intention to ban cruise ships in Amsterdam is part of a growing trend among popular tourist destinations to reduce carbon emissions, reduce daily visitor numbers, make cities more attractive to local residents, and increase the economic value of each visitor (spend). One of the unfortunate aspects of this kind of ban is that it may not distinguish between mega-ships and small ships, or obnoxious visitors and respectful ones. It also doesn't allow for a reduction in daily cruise ship visits to address over-crowding and reduce environmental impact, as they have recently done in Norway and before that in Alaska. This trend will likely continue and may pick up steam as local resentment against tourists grows in some regions. The cruise industry has brought some of this on itself by building ever-bigger mega-ships with too many passengers on them, and sailing too many of them into the same ports on the same days and weeks. The impact at times can be over-whelming to local residents and their environment. Unfortunately, I don't think we cruisers are going to get a lot of sympathy from the general public for this situation. In fact, (excuse the pun), the tide has turned against us. The only saving grace may be that these types of bans and limits may reduce cruise line demand for mega-ships, and increase demand for smaller ships. It may also require spreading out passenger visits to a port and/or region over a longer season, which would reduce over-crowding and make our visits more enjoyable for all. But no matter what new rules are adopted, smart people and companies can and usually do figure out a way to make things work for the benefit of most.
  4. The intention to ban cruise ships in Amsterdam is part of a growing trend among popular tourist destinations to reduce carbon emissions, reduce daily visitor numbers, make cities more attractive to local residents, and increase the economic value of each visitor (spend). One of the unfortunate aspects of this kind of ban is that it may not distinguish between mega-ships and small ships, or obnoxious visitors and respectful ones. It also doesn't allow for a reduction in daily cruise ship visits to address over-crowding and reduce environmental impact, as they have recently done in Norway and before that in Alaska. This trend will likely continue and may pick up steam as local resentment against tourists grows in some regions. The cruise industry has brought some of this on itself by building ever-bigger mega-ships with too many passengers on them, and sailing too many of them into the same ports on the same days and weeks. The impact at times can be over-whelming to local residents and their environment. Unfortunately, I don't think we cruisers are going to get a lot of sympathy from the general public for this situation. In fact, (excuse the pun), the tide has turned against us. The only saving grace may be that these types of bans and limits may reduce cruise line demand for mega-ships, and increase demand for smaller ships. It may also require spreading out passenger visits to a port and/or region over a longer season, which would reduce over-crowding and make our visits more enjoyable for all. But no matter what new rules are adopted, smart people and companies can and usually do figure out a way to make things work for the benefit of most.
  5. New ideas are often much easier to come up with than to effectively implement. I chalk this one up to making their pitch of "Door to Door" possible rather than providing a benefit that customers were clamoring for. In addition, perhaps another way to make a few dollars on the cost of the transfers. As posters in another thread about Blacklane have noted, the company is mainly a broker and contracts out most if not all of their transfer business to other chauffeur companies.
  6. It might be helpful for Seabourn to say something about the Brazil Visa issue to travel agents and/or customers with bookings in Brazil. Initially, my travel agent (a very large firm) advised me that no Visas were necessary for Brazil -- I had to correct them and point them to the correct information. The current uncertainty is causing some people to avoid or cancel cruises to Brazil as some have stated on this forum in the Ports of Call Boards.
  7. As there are only so many places that cruise ships can visit each season, it may be difficult for them to completely drop the Med in future summers. However, cruise lines might just extend the seasons for certain destinations like the Med and spread out the sailings. I've seen this happen with river cruises over the years. In fact, I believe one of the river cruise companies recently announced it was expanding its cruising season in Europe.
  8. Click on the "S" class cabin information forum at the top of this page to find insights about various cabins.
  9. Google directions says Morristown is a 40 minute drive to Cape Liberty. And since we will be arriving at Newark airport and taking a taxi/Uber, I want to be getting closer to Cape Liberty not further away.
  10. Has anyone considered staying in Jersey City which is just a 20-minute drive from Cape Liberty? I want to arrive a night before our cruise, but I would like to stay someone with some ambience and good restaurants without having to go to Manhattan again. Any thoughts?
  11. On my very first Seabourn cruise back in 1994 (pre-Carnival), we had an older woman on board in the top suite who was very wealthy and demanding, and at times plain grumpy. However, she could also be funny at times. One night we were sitting with her and two people from Australia in the lounge talking when she finished her drink. Without looking up, she screamed at the first person to walk by that she wanted another drink, and right away. It turned out to be the Captain, and he replied "yes mam" and immediately went for the drink. When I told her she had just ordered a drink from the Captain, she said "he better get it right this time!"
  12. A grand idea. And if one swallows an oyster that tastes a bit off, just order a vodka martini!
  13. Good decision. We've only been offered paid upgrades twice, and took it that last time. We were very happy with the outcome and price.
  14. In my case, it was the local drivers in Toronto and Lisbon who sent me a text message about an hour before arrival to confirm the ride.
  15. In March we were on the Moon and tried all the restaurants, including Kaiseki twice - once for lunch and once for dinner. Both were disappointing, especially dinner with the upcharge. In contrast, those of you who sailed on the old Crystal may recall how wonderful their sushi bar and Asian restaurant were. That set the bar for us and we have not found anything at sea any better since.
  16. We just did a Miami to Lisbon crossing with stops in the Azores in March. It was lovely and we would do it again. As they say, it's the only way to cross!
  17. Fletcher posted this on another thread. I think it sounds like an amazing itinerary and would take it if not alread booked on a Japan cruise at the time. "Silversea has a rather astonishing trip in April 2024 - a full expedition voyage on the Amazon, across the Atlantic, then Sierra Leone, the Bijagos Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau, then Gambia and ending in Dakar, Senegal. This is probably a one-off, never to be repeated trip. I would love to be aboard but I'll be in French Polynesia at that time. Putin willing." https://www.silversea.com/destinations/south-america-cruise/manaus-to-dakar-wi240414021.html
  18. Who ever hears any updated news, please post it here so we can all benefit. Many thanks.
  19. According to a variety of sources, effective October 1, 2023, Brazil will require nationals of the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia to obtain a visa prior to entering the country for tourism, business, and other purposes. The announcement reverses a visa waiver policy that had been in place since 2019 with the goal of promoting tourism. If you are taking a cruise that begins or ends in Brazil starting October 1, this means you apparently will need a visa. However, the online platform that will allow visitors to apply for these new Visas does not yet appear to be operational. Our cruise departs Barbados October 10 and arrives in Manaus on October 24. Anyone in a similar situation, and if so, do you have any advice?
  20. Agree. Is it possible to get a credit back from SS for the value of the Blacklane transfers? I would imagine there are many people like me who have been using the same chauffeur company for many years and would like to stay with them.
  21. We were on a trans- Atlantic and lots of people were using their second transfer in Lisbon. Transfers have a date limit, so sometimes it’s the only way it will work. Our friends also used Blacklane in London.
  22. Yes, I’m the new Vice-President in charge of transfer happiness.
  23. Very helpful. Thanks. We are also foodies and love trying good quality restaurants with a nice atmosphere where locals like to eat.
  24. I received an email blast from Blacklane this week boasting about their great service. However, when I clicked through to the Blacklane reviews on TrustPilot (link below), the ratings were only 3.3 our of 5, and 20% of them were 2 stars or less. The main criticisms revolved around last-minute cancellations by Blacklane, drivers who refused to pick up passengers because they claimed they had too much luggage, or the plane was late and the driver wouldn't wait. Also some comments about extra fees and surcharges. Apparently, many of the Blacklane drivers are contractors, and they are not as reliable as companies with their own cars and drivers. When I used them my only criticism was that the Blacklane online booking system would automatically change the time I booked in Lisbon time back to Toronto time, meaning my car would be turning up 6 hours earlier than I wanted. So I had to book for six hours later than I wanted local time, and the system changed it to want I wanted. Several people on our cruise waiting at the Lisbon cruise terminal found this out the hard way. Anyone with a good or bad experience with Blacklane? Blacklane Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of www.blacklane.com (trustpilot.com)
  25. We enjoy architecture and history, so usually find ourselves walking around old sections of a city, sometimes with a guide. We also enjoy museums, particularly ones that showcase local culture and history. Thanks.
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